Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
As teenage boys, they left farms and ranches journeying to far flung regions of the world they never before knew existed and never again visited. World War II did not merely disrupt their lives, it completely remolded them.
Now in the winter of their lives, they find camaraderie in remembering those exciting and terrifying days when they were young, everything was new and the world was theirs.
Sitting at a line of tables pushed together in PJ’s Café, a small group of veterans whose lives once revolved around the defense, flying or maintenance of B-24 Liberators tell stories over breakfast as their children and grandchildren listen.
“My first mission was in August ’44, and I stayed there until ’45,” Don McClelland, a tail gunner for the 389th Bomb Group, said. “I flew 31 missions for sure, but I think I flew 35, really. I flew other missions for other crews. If they thought they were going to have a bad time that day and weren’t going to get to come home… If they had families and I was just single, I said, ‘I’ll go fly your trip.’ And the next day they flew, and they didn’t come back. That’s the way it works.
“Mostly from that time, I remember the cold. But the fear of the flight didn’t seem to enter my mind. It was kind of exciting to fly those missions. There was a lot of fun involved. But I never really thought about how I could get killed doing these things. I could have been killed doing the things I did, and I don’t know why I did some of them.
“I was 18 and a half years old. I enjoyed flying and the excitement. But I was too dumb to think of the consequences of what I was getting into. I’d just go ahead and do it, and not even think about it. That is how wars are won, by the young people who don’t have good brains, who just kind of do things and don’t think about consequences.
“I’ve been extremely lucky. I’m a God fearing person, and God’s in control. He was with me all the time I was over there.”
“You had an angel flying with you, too,” Raymond Landtroop, a pilot for the 389th Bomb Group, added, laughing.
“On my fourth mission we went to Saarbrücken,” Raymond said. “That was the largest railroad marshalling yard in Germany. We had a shell that went through our left wing and didn’t explode. If it had of, I wouldn’t be here. Normally, they did explode.
“Anyway, I bombed that place five times. About every two weeks we’d go hit it. They’d rebuild it, we’d go over and tear it out. They’d rebuild it, we’d tear it out. Any time a train wanted to go from one side of Germany to the other, they had to go through Saarbrücken. So if we kept it tore up, they couldn’t go.”
“Our other targets were ball bearing factories and machinery factories,” J.D. Morrison, an aircraft mechanic with the 492nd Bomb Group, said.
“We bombed a synthetic oil refinery in Poland,” Raymond said. “That was a long way over there. We clobbered it good. Smoke came up to 20,000 feet then leveled off, because the wind was blowing. I guess. That’s the only time I ever went to Poland.”
Little did I know I had met a real life celebrity. Don McClelland served during the war with actor Jimmy Stewart.
“I flew tail gunner for Jimmy Stewart, he was the pilot,” Don said. “I was part of his crew. He was 34 years old when he was flying. I was only 18. One time I said, ‘What’s an old man like you doing flying these missions?’ He said, ‘You watch your mouth, boy. Don’t be talking to me like that. You don’t treat me like an old man. I can do just as good as you can.’
“He was very friendly and very intelligent. He was in the Chief of Staff Division, so he helped plan the missions the night before. Everyone liked him. If you got in trouble and you had to tell him your story, you’d better be truthful. If he caught you lying, he had no use for you.
“After the war, he went back to movies. You’ve probably seen It’s a Wonderful Life. That was one of the best ones he made.
“He lived in a neighborhood with Doris Day on one side and Lucille Ball on the other side. But when [his wife] Gloria died, he said his life was over. He went into hibernation. So he just lived upstairs in his big house. He was very reluctant to allow people to come pay him visits. But I was one he’d allow to come visit. We were good friends.
“I had a lot of respect for Jimmy Stewart, because he wanted to do his part during the war.”
Sitting further down the table, the sons of the World War II veterans, pilots and veterans themselves, discuss their fathers.
“I worry about their stories being lost,” Larry Landtroop said. “Dad has kind of kept a record of his missions. We are putting together a ‘diary’ if you will, so hopefully we will have a whole diary of what he did.”
“Just listening to them talk is so amazing,” Billy Jack Davis, a friend and Army veteran, said.
“When they did all this, about half of them were teenagers, and the rest were in their 20s,” Wally Gray said. His father, Col. Howard W. Gray joined the Army Air Corps in 1935 and was assigned to the Training Command 2nd Air Force during WWII. Col. Gray is a deceased member of the group. “They were just young guys.”
“You couldn’t get a guy today to go on that many missions that dangerous,” Billy Jack said. “He wouldn’t do it.”
“Twenty five percent of those in the 8th Air Force who flew missions came back,” Larry said. “Seventy-five percent of them were either shot down and captured or killed.”
“It was more dangerous to be in the 8th Air Force than it was to be a Marine on Iwo Jima,” Billy Jack said. “They would go out on a 1000 plane mission and lose 10 percent. That is 100 airplanes with 10 men on an airplane - that is 1000 guys gone in one day.”
“There were over 250,000 lost in the 8th Air Force,” Larry said.
“Just letting them talk about this, you see smiles all around. We are glad we were able to make these guys’ Christmas. They may not get a chance to do this again,” he added.
“We want everyone to know how proud we are of them, of what they did and the risks they took,” Billy Jack said.
“If it wasn’t for them, we might be speaking German now,” Larry said.
Last Updated on Sunday, 06 January 2013 23:28
Written by Phil Cerroni
The North Texas Commission recently announced the election and appointment of its new officers, executive committee and directors to its board. Former Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief will serve as the 2013 chairman of the North Texas Commission; and David Tesmer, senior vice president, Advocacy and Community Benefit for Texas Health Resources, will serve as the vice chairman. Plano Mayor Phil Dyer will serve as treasurer, Gray Mayes, director, government relations, Texas Instruments, will serve as secretary and Holly Reed, regional vice president for AT&T, will be the immediate past chairman.
The following directors remain on the Executive Committee for 2013:Sandra Doyle, director, public affairs, Atmos Energy, Dan Hagan, managing director/corporate affairs, American Airlines; Dan Johnson, city manager, City of Richardson Bob Pence, president and CEO of Freese and Nichols, Inc., Stephen Tolerico, chief marketing officer, Sewell Automotive Companies, Kevin Ward, general manager, Trinity River Authority, Julie Wilson, vice president, urban development, Chesapeake Energy Corporation; Hal Thorne, OnePrime, will serve as general counsel and will serve as immediate past chairman.
Newly appointed board members are Cathy Altman, attorney, Carrington Coleman Sloman & Blumenthal LLP, Steven Bristow, vice president, community relations and advocacy, Methodist Health System, Rick Chess, president, Encore Enterprises, Jim Cline, public works director, Denton County Transportation Authority, Arnim Dontes, executive vice president for business affairs, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Brad Gorrondona, chairman, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, RaDonna Hessel, president & CEO, Grapevine Chamber of Commerce, Margaret Keliher, formerly of Texas Business for Clean Air, Stephen Knobbe, vice president, HNTB Corporation, Rick Lee, principal, HKS, Inc., Steve Love, president and CEO, Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, Bobbie Mitchell, North Central Texas Council of Governments Board president and Denton County Commissioner,Michael Schulman, partner, Locke Lord LLP, Jonathan Seyoum, vice president operations, The Original Pancake House, Whitney Smith, chairman, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Beth Van Duyne, City of Irving, Kathy Wilkins, vice president, Alliance Operating Services and Renee Wilson, business development manager, United Technologies.
Source: North Texas Commission
Last Updated on Sunday, 06 January 2013 23:27
Written by Phil Cerroni
The University of Dallas College of Business has earned initial accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The distinction, which is the hallmark of business education excellence, places the college in an elite group; less than five percent of business schools worldwide have earned the accrediting body’s accreditation.
“It is my great pleasure and honor to announce that the university has earned accreditation from AACSB International for our College of Business,” said Robert F. Scherer, dean and professor of management. “This distinction ensures the degree that current and prospective students receive from the University of Dallas is recognized as one of the world’s best. Achieving this accreditation was no small feat and we are extremely proud to receive the designation.”
To achieve accreditation, an institution’s business program is required to undergo a meticulous internal review and evaluation process. During this period, the school must develop and implement a mission-driven plan to satisfy 20 quality standards relating to faculty qualification, strategic management of resources and interactions of faculty and students, as well as a commitment to continuous improvement and achievement of learning goals in degree programs.
During the process, the College of Business was visited and evaluated by business school deans with detailed knowledge of business education, applying accreditation standards that are widely-accepted in the educational community.
“We warmly congratulate the University of Dallas College of Business and welcome them into the AACSB family of internationally accredited business schools,” said John J. Fernandes, president and chief executive officer of AACSB International. “AACSB Accreditation represents the highest achievement for an educational institution and its college of business. The dean, faculty, staff and administration are to be commended for their dedication and commitment to continuous improvement, and for their role in earning initial accreditation.”
Founded in 1916, AACSB International is the longest serving global accrediting body for business schools that offer bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in business and accounting.
Source: University of Dallas is a Catholic
Last Updated on Sunday, 06 January 2013 23:26
Written by Phil Cerroni
By Amanda Casanova
Dr. Mark Anderson and other Healthcare Associates of Irving employees presented a check for nearly $4,000 to the Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation on Dec. 20.
The money was raised in September as part of the 2nd Annual Hogs and Hearts Rally. The funds, which total $3,950, will be used for the foundation, which funds scholarships and internships for students.
“It’s pretty much double what we did last year,” Dr. Anderson said.
Also part of the fundraising, staff competed against teams to bring in diapers, Dr. Anderson said at a presentation at the Healthcare Associates of Irving.
“It filled that whole wall out there,” he said.
The Hogs and Hearts Rally also collected more than 40,500 diapers for Our Children’s House of Irving, a specialized program for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years with moderate to severe medical needs.
The September rally included food, raffles, motorcycles, games and children’s events.
Last Updated on Sunday, 06 January 2013 23:25
DCCCD Honors: Lassiter elected board chair; administrator earns certification; district honored for efficiency
Written by Phil Cerroni
Dr. Wright Lassiter Jr., chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District, was elected chairman of the Parker University board of trustees during the group’s recent December meeting. He will serve a two-year term as board chairman; he first was appointed to Parker’s board in 2007 and previously served as treasurer.
“I am honored to serve as chairman of the board of trustees for Parker University,” said Lassiter, who previously served as president of El Centro College – one of seven individually-accredited colleges in DCCCD – for more than 20 years. “Parker is a growing university that has many exciting developments ahead, which I am glad to be a part of."
The appointment comes as Parker University pursues a five-year strategic plan that calls for 12 new degree programs and a total student enrollment of 2,500. The institution is growing to meet the needs of an expanding health care industry; it currently enrolls approximately 850 students in its doctor of chiropractic and massage therapy programs.
“Dr. Lassiter is a great fit for this role,” said Dr. Gery Hochanadel, provost of Parker University. “He not only has an extensive background in higher education, but he also is an esteemed leader in the DFW education community. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the board of trustees, and we will benefit greatly from his leadership.”
Maria Garza, auxiliary business services manager for the Dallas County Community College District, has earned the designation of Certified Auxiliary Services Professional from the National Association of College Auxiliary Services.
CASP is a four-year certification program for aspiring auxiliary services professionals and is the only certificate which demonstrates that recipients have met a high standard of excellence as defined by industry experts; it also indicates that they have the skills needed to be a director of auxiliary services in the areas of management, leadership, marketing, student development and operations.
"I am very proud of earning the CASP designation. It provides me with a means to develop and demonstrate my knowledge and core competencies in auxiliary services. This certification certainly prepares me for more senior responsibilities at DCCCD,” said Garza. “It also gives me a great foundation and benchmark for providing excellent services to students and staff and for improving the quality of the student experience at DCCCD."
“We are pleased to congratulate Maria Garza,” said Ron Campbell, CEO of NACAS. “Earning the CASP designation requires recipients to meet an advanced standard of expertise and experience in higher education auxiliary services. CASP recipients are among the best and brightest of our industry.”
The Dallas County Community College District is one of nine colleges and universities in the U.S. honored by University Business Magazine as one of its winter 2012 “Models of Efficiency.” Sponsored by Higher One, the program recognizes innovative approaches for streamlining higher education operations through technology and/or business process improvements.
In 2012, the district changed the way it processed financial aid verifications by implementing the GlobalCORE + File Review verification solution from Global Financial Aid Services Inc. Prior to that time, DCCCD students who were selected for financial aid verification were directed to a website to print forms and then complete, mail, drop off or fax them to their colleges. However, more than 50 percent of the paperwork was completed incorrectly, and staff members were overwhelmed with student inquiries. The review process took six to eight weeks, awards were delayed and complaints grew.
The new solution provides an online student portal branded to DCCCD, automatic student e-mail notifications, paperless document collection and an interface for Financial Aid and Contact Center staff members so that they can monitor status, check documents and run reports. Compliance review for verification files was outsourced, and review results were communicated to DCCCD’s student information system daily. As a result, file review time was reduced from weeks to less than five days, which allowed staff members to focus on counseling and assisting at-risk students.
Other winter 2012 “Models of Efficiency” recipients were Baldwin University (WI); Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management (CA); Northern Michigan University; NorthWest Arkansas Community College; Polk State College (FL); Southern California University of Health Sciences; Texas A&M Health Science Center; and the University of West Georgia.
Last Updated on Sunday, 06 January 2013 23:24
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